Updated: Feb 6
As a producer/director with over 40 years in the business, I can tell you that the value of experience cannot be overstated. I have developed a wealth of knowledge and skills that are essential to my work as a documentary filmmaker. I made several documentaries early in my career while working for the PBS station in Phoenix in the early 1980s, and then began a seven year stint as a producer and executive producer for a nightly magazine program in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Salt Lake City that was all about storytelling. After that, I started my own production company and launched right into producing and directing a biographical documentary about one of my literary and environmental heroes, the author Edward Abbey.
My instinct for storytelling and honing in on the meat of a story is by far the most important skill I acquired. Later, I taught filmmaking at the college level in Washington, DC. This involved teaching storytelling techniques as well as showing students the nuances of the craft of film and video production. I love to take a story from the beginning, interviewing the subjects and teasing out answers which will probably lead in new, unexpected directions. The threads that I uncover can then
be followed throughout the entire filmmaking process, including writing the script and editing the final cut. The contacts that I made in my 40 year career have helped me immeasurably. I know whom to contact to make things happen. Because of one of these contacts, I was just hired to direct a two hour, two part PBS documentary in conjunction with Maryland Public Television. I am thrilled to still be working on documentary films. They have been my passion since early in my career and, even though the technology is constantly changing, the art of storytelling has not.